EPOXY: Mask or No Mask

As epoxy and resin art crafting grows more popular, the hottest question right now is, “do you need to wear a mask when working with epoxy?”

MEDICAL FACTS:

  1. Both Epoxy and art resin use 2 separate chemicals that when combined, create a chemical reaction to create a permanent hard coating.
  2. Liquid epoxy resins in their uncured state are mostly classified as irritants to the eyes and skin. However, exposure to epoxy resins can, over time, induce allergic reactions.
  3. Sensitization generally occurs due to repeated exposure (through poor working hygiene or lack of protective equipment) over long periods of time. Most common allergic reactions are dermatitis, however occupational asthma has been linked to epoxy use. (MayoClinic --> Occupational asthmaMay 23, 2009)
  4. Epoxy and resin are TOTALLY SAFE when fully cured properly, but not in liquid or drying states.

PERSONAL OPINION:

I wear a chemical respirator mask when I work with epoxy to save and protect my lungs.  There are some people out there that will tell you that it’s safe and there’s no VOC and it’s not going to hurt you and that’s it’s not dangerous… I disagree and so do SCIENTISTS and DOCTORS from reputable establishments like the Mayo Clinic. It is widely accepted that epoxy allergies develop over time from repeated exposure to uncured epoxy.  As a tumbler-maker and epoxy artist, I am exposed - a lot - and I am not taking chances with my health, my livelihood and my family.

 

You get one set of lungs and this is a product that when you combine 2 elements, it creates a chemical reaction to make a substance for permanent hardening – do you want those particals on your lungs? It doesn’t matter if it’s low VOC or doesn’t smell, not everything has to smell to be dangerous.  Carbon Monoxide doesn’t smell and it’s super dangerous and will kill you. You may not have an allergy now, but if epoxy exposure has compounding effects, we don’t want to risk that at LittleLee and Rose.

Even the manufacturer’s safety data and directions say to use it in a well-ventilated room.  What is well-ventilated?  It’s not just a room with an open window.  It is a well-ventilated area with flowing fresh air that blows in and circulates bad air that is being sucked out of the room at a flowing rate. Just having a window open, does not qualify.

Most likely, if you’re questioning the safety of something, you should probably error on the conservative side… and wear Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) like a respirator and nitrile gloves.

Just wear your mask.  They make them super comfortable now.  The brand I like is Dräger. It’s on our amazon shopping list and linked here, you can also buy the replacement cartridges there as well.  If you’re going to invest in this craft and your business, why not invest in your health and longevity?

As a company, we’re so adamant about PPE safety, our staff wears respirators for large spray painting jobs, when they are around epoxy and we do not approve posts or videos of members actively using uncured epoxy without PPE present.  We want to protect ourselves and our family – and that includes our Glitterati and you.

 

 


Older Post